Doctors suggest that acid reflux and the other related condition to esophageal cancer might be the biggest risk factor for cancer. Acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) cause stomach acid to backup into the esophagus. This stomach acid causes burning or pain the esophagus. Patients experience heartburn and indigestion.
When the condition is chronic, it often causes damage or changes in the cells of the lower esophagus due to the acid. This related condition is called Barrett’s esophagus. Sometimes the condition is asymptomatic, but it can cause nausea, pain and blood stools in some patients.
Doctors use a variety of methods to treat these related conditions and reduce a patient’s risk of esophageal cancer. Doctors may prescribe medications or recommend surgery to remove damaged tissue. Another procedure, called dilation, is used to stretch the damaged tissue when it becomes thickened due to damage.